Quick answer: It depends.
As a freelance motion graphic artist, putting up a fixed rate matrix can be close to impossible because there are a lot of factors you need to look into before you can properly quote a project. To know how much you should charge for a motion graphics or animation job, here are some of the things you need to consider.
Daily Rate vs. Hourly Rate
You can choose to set a rate based on the number of hours or days you think you will allot on the project. Having an hourly or daily rate gives you a better way to estimate project costs. For instance, you have a daily rate of $500. If you think that the project will take you about 2-3 days to finish, you can offer your services for $1,000-$1,500.
Choosing between an hourly or daily rate is completely up to you. However, most freelancers opt for charging a daily rate, because it saves time from constantly sending hourly reports and allows you to just focus on the project.
Level of Difficulty
Consider how intricate the animation needs to be. Is it 2D or 3D animation? Aside from this, determine the availability of materials. Will the client provide the footage or artwork that you’re going to animate or are you going to create everything from scratch? Will you need to shoot footage, outsource voiceovers, and apply musical scoring?
If you will have production costs, you will need to charge higher. On the other hand, you can quote them a lower rate if the client provides all the materials you need and only needs your animation skills to for the project.
Typically, a longer animation clip will cost more. But of course, you always need to consider this alongside the level of skill required for the project. A 10-second 3D animation clip entails a higher level of difficulty as compared to a 20-second infographic type 2D animation, thus making it more expensive than the latter even if it has a shorter running time.
The more experienced you are, the higher you can charge. But if you’re just starting out, that doesn’t mean that you need to sell yourself short just to land projects. What you can do is charge a lower rate than that of the experts and gradually increase your price once you gain exposure and a more comprehensive portfolio. You can also showcase previous work you have done so that the client can better determine if your skills match their needs.
Sometimes, basing a project on a script or a written brief is not enough for you to give a realistic project costing. To provide clients with a more accurate quote, always ask for video references or design inspirations from them. This will help you visualize what they want and gauge the level of skill and amount of time needed for the project.
Animation and motion graphics is an integral part of advertising and communication. Position yourself in the market better by knowing how to charge clients. Keep these five factors in mind to help you provide accurate and reasonable quotes to clients.